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Two Essential Points to Consider Before Choosing a Sperm Donor

Posted on January 1, 2014

When preparing to select a sperm donor, even when you’re completely emotionally ready to do so, the process still offers a lot to think about. There is a multitude of factors at play that will all be on your mind once you’ve decided to use a donor, starting with these two key points of consideration:

Should the donor be known or anonymous?

Firstly, there are two types of sperm donors: anonymous sperm donors and “directed sperm donors”, or known sperm donors. Anonymous sperm donors are the donors found in a sperm donor database. If you chose an anonymous donor, you will not have a relationship with the donor and their identity will remain unknown to you. On the other hand, a directed donor or known donor is a close friend or relative that is willing to donate sperm.

There are advantages and disadvantages with each type of sperm donor. With a known donor you will have a more complete medical history, but there is a possibility that the process can create complications in your relationship with the donor. With an anonymous sperm donor, the donor’s relationship to your child will not need any kind of definition. Additionally, with an anonymous donor, you can also more easily find a donor with your blood type, to safeguard your child from accidentally discovering they are not biologically related to both parents if that is your future intention.

Please visit our webpage on the subject for more information on the sperm donor program at the Fertility Center of California.

How specific should a donor choice get?

Once you’ve decided whether your sperm donor will be known or anonymous, the question of specifics is narrowed in one case. With a known donor, you’ve already considered the individual’s physical and professional qualities and made up your mind from there. With an anonymous donor, the options are much more open for discussion. Questions will quickly arise, such as:

Should the donor’s eye color be blue?

Does the donor’s profession reflect our priorities?

Should the donor’s heritage reflect my heritage?

You may think that the answers to these questions are obvious; especially if you find yourself responding with a knee-jerk reaction to each, but the truth is - relying on instinctive preferences can work against your search. For prospective parents, selecting a sperm donor’s eye color, hair color, and ancestral heritage is a simple way to cater the donor sperm to reflect their own physical appearance. Although this is a common practice, it’s important to not let your preferences become so specific that they cut down on the options you have available. Remember, you will have time to narrow down your choices as you continue in the selection process – not everything has to be decided upfront in your initial search.

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